Alabaster students win statewide award

Published 2:35 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Several Alabaster students recently won statewide awards at the Alabama Association for Gifted Children's annual conference in Birmingham. (Contributed)

Several Alabaster students recently won statewide awards at the Alabama Association for Gifted Children’s annual conference in Birmingham. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A Thompson Intermediate School fifth-grader and several Creek View Elementary School third-graders took home top honors in the state after they produced videos explaining the life of gifted-education students.

TIS student Mary Paige McDonald entered her video, “The ups and downs of gifted kids,” in the Alabama Association for Gifted Children’s annual video contest earlier this year.

CVES third-grade students Alex Stafford, James Stafford, Conyers Preveaux, Drew Cochran, Tristan Gregory and Marlee Roach also entered their video, “Gifted Matters,” in the contest.

The association named McDonald the overall individual winner for fifth-grade students in the state, and named the CVES third-graders the overall winner in the group category for grades third-fifth. The seven Alabaster students were honored during the association’s state conference on Sept. 27 in Birmingham. TIS gifted education teachers Susan Mitchell, Nicole Naro and Rita Sparks and CVES gifted teacher Melissa Foster also were honored during the conference.

In her video, McDonald, a gifted student at TIS, explained what it’s like to be in the school’s gifted education program.

“Sometimes I feel like my thinking is just out there. But in gifted class, I get to think how I want, and that makes me feel like I belong,” McDonald said in the video. “I care about helping people. In gifted class, we work on service projects to help others.”

McDonald praised the TIS gifted education program for allowing her to talk out solutions to her classwork with her peers and for being allowed to ask her teachers ample questions.

In their video, the six CVES students presented a news broadcast by the “Gifted News Network” outlining why gifted education is important to Alabama, the nation and the world.

Gifted education programs such as the one at CVES help train future leaders in communities across the globe, the students said.

“They all represented our schools so well,” said TIS Principal Dr. Ke Jones. “We are so proud of them.”